Leadership development for everyone in the blue collar workforce, those who support them, and those who lead them. Leadership is influence. Influence is built daily, not in a day.
There are two types of influence: 1) Artificial influence which comes with a title, position, or rank and is reserved for those who have formal authority over others; and 2) Authentic influence which is based on a person's character and the relationships they build, and it's available to anyone with or without a position of authority because it's based on moral authority (who you are and how you do what you do).
Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines Part 11 of 30. The power of the pause button. Between stimulus and response, we all have the freedom to choose our response. But, many times we don't pause and benefit from that freedom. When something happens do you respond based on feelings or values? Does it matter? Absolutely!
Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines Part 10 of 30. Focus on the mirror. The face you see least is your own. Earl Nightingale said it best, "A man's environment is a merciless mirror of him as a human being." Until we go within, we will go without. We all have a blind spot, and it's in the exact same place: between us and the mirror. We don't know about ourselves what we need to know about ourselves.
Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines Part 9 of 30. Your potential is unlimited. You should always be grateful but never satisfied. However, the opposite is often true. Too many people are ungrateful and may or not be satisfied. You may have heard, "If Bob has a problem everywhere Bob goes, then Bob is the problem." The key to unleashing your potential is to first realize it's your responsibility to do so. If you don't lead yourself intentionally, you'll be led by others automatically.
Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines Part 8 of 30. The question isn't, "Are you a role model?" but rather, "What kind of role model do you want to be?" because somebody is always watching. When you touch a life, you don't always feel it. We're all touching lives everyday. Most often we don't even know it. And, we're touching the lives of others in positive and negative ways as we go about our day. Albert Einstein said it best, "Example isn't another way to teach, it's the only way to teach." When people look at you, what do they see? Who we are matters...and, it matters A LOT!
Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines part 7 of 30. Who do you work for? Notice, I didn't ask, "Where do you work?" or "Who pays you to work?" The secret to your success is understanding this: You get paid by others, but you're working for yourself. When you truly understand what I'll be sharing in this episode, you'll change what you do. When you change what you do, you'll change what you get.
Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines part 6 of 30. Are you intentionally doing something everyday to get better? You should be. If you aren't, you're likely to be passed by someone who is. The only person you need to be better than tomorrow is the one you are today. There is no external competition preventing you from climbing to the next level and beyond. The battle you need to win is on the inside, not the outside. In this episode, I'll share a simple question that you can leverage to achieve amazing results. The key is having the self-discipline to take the right action based on the answer to the question.
Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines part 5 of 30. Every team is made up of "I"ndividuals. To grow and develop a high performance team, we must begin by growing and developing the individuals on the team. To develop the character of the team, we must develop the character of the individuals on the team.
Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines Part 4 of 30. Common sense is never enough. Often, you must also have uncommon sense to do what is commonly understood. As George Washington Carver stated so well, "When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."
Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines Part 3 of 30. You're in the perfect place to begin climbing to the next level and beyond. However, too many people fail at getting started. Taking action is the key to getting from where you are to where you want to be. It's much easier to go from failure to success than it is to go from excuses to success. Why? Because those who are "failing" are actually doing something. Those who are making excuses aren't doing anything. Make it happen or someone else will. It might as well be YOU!
I started the Blue-Collar Leadership Podcast on July 19, 2018. 4 months later, thanks to you, the episodes have been played 5,299 times averaging nearly 80 plays per episode. If you find value in this podcast, please share a link on your social media pages and consider leaving a 5 Star review on your podcast app to help make the Blue-Collar Leadership podcast more visible to the world. Thank you for listening and for helping me spread the Blue-Collar Leadership message!
Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines Part 2 of 30. Motivation comes from the outside, but inspiration comes from the inside. When we're able to motivate others from the outside by believing in them, they're positioned to become inspired from within and to begin believing in themselves. In this episode, I invite you to change the way you believe in others by redefining the way we should express our belief in others.
Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines Part 1 of 30: I wish someone would had given me a copy of Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines, 30 years ago when I started my career on the front lines. However, it didn't exist then. It didn't exist until I wrote it in 2016. If it had been available in 1988, it would have changed my life and helped me accelerate my career. However, it is available today and can help you change your life now and help you accelerate your career.
In the opening episode of this series, I will tell you why I wrote Blue-Collar Leadership, who I wrote it for, what you can learn from it, and I'll share a short story about my first manufacturing job, so you'll know: I'm one of you. Who we are matters!
In this episode, I take the "Golden Circle" principle I learned from Simon Sinek and wrap leadership around it. You'll learn "Why" leadership is important, "How" we develop our leadership, and "What" we do with our leadership ability.
"Special Offer" for blue-collar organizations. What I will do for you…
If you or your leaders will invest in your team, I will too because I value growing and developing the great people in the blue-collar workforce regardless of their title or position. I’ll pay all of my expenses to travel anywhere in the 50 United States to conduct up to 4 hours of complimentary, on site leadership development training for any size group, large or small, at any level. This is my money and my time, not corporate money on company time.
Why do I make this offer? Because, I have a passion for growing and developing the often overworked, overlooked, and underdeveloped blue-collar workforce, those who lead them, and those who support them.
What you must do for your team…Purchase 200 copies (direct from me for $3,600) of any combination of my six Blue-Collar Leadership Series books and distribute them to your blue-collar workforce. (We've been paid up to $20,000 to speak. However, we waive our speaking fees for blue-collar leaders who are willing to invest in their team and take advantage of this special offer.) Learn more at BlueCollarLeaders.com/special-offer
Here's what Sam M. VP & COO of Concrete Materials Placement in Charlotte, NC had to say, “My first words are, GET SIGNED UP! This training is not, and I stress, not your everyday leadership seminar! I have never been a part of anything like it. After 30 years in technology and two years in Concrete Construction, I have attended dozens and sent hundreds to the so-called ‘Leadership-Training.’ I can tell you that while all of the courses, classes, webinars, and seminars, had good intentions, nothing can touch what Mack and Ria Story provide. I just wish I had it 20 years ago…I could go on-and-on…100% of the team that attended said that they were ‘blown-away, they did not see that conviction and passion coming.’ Many thanks, Mack and Ria!”
Many make the mistake of believing the organizational chart reveals who the leaders in an organization are. The organizational chart reveals who the managers are. Those on the chart may or may not be high impact leaders of people. However, they are definitely managers of things and processes.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 16 of 17. Managers of people transfer responsibility, blame others, and create distrust among their team. Leaders of people take responsibility, blame themselves, and build trust with their team.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 15 of 17. All of our growth happens outside of our comfort zone. Managers of people seek to remain in their comfort zone while leaders of people seek to move beyond their comfort zone.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 14 of 17. Managers of people want to travel existing roads where everything is familiar. Their goal is to maintain the status quo. Leaders of people want to explore and create new paths. They prefer and expect things to change and seek continuous improvement.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 13 of 17. When things go wrong, managers of people are quick to "look out the window" for someone to blame and create distrust with others. However, when things go wrong, leaders of people are quick to "look in the mirror" and take the blame which builds trust with others.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 12 of 17. Managers of people look for opportunities to take the credit and create distrust with others. Leaders of people look for opportunities to give credit to others and build trust with others.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 11 of 17. Managers of people grow slowly and accidentally while avoiding growth beyond what is required. Leaders of people grow quickly and intentionally while growing far beyond what is required.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 10 of 17. Managers of people are concerned with being right and allow their pride and ego to guide them. Leaders of people are concerned with doing what is right and allow their humility to strengthen them.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 9 of 17. Managers of people avoid conflict and hope it goes away without intervention. Leaders of people use conflict to strengthen relationships while growing and developing the character of those on their team in an effort to minimize and eliminate conflict before it becomes an issue.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 8 of 17. Managers of people avoid risk and attempt to maintain the status quo. They don't rock the boat and don't want others rocking the boat. They seek comfort. Leaders of people take smart risks. They know growth occurs outside of their comfort zone. As a result, leaders become comfortable being uncomfortable. Leaders understand embracing risk is simply another part of the journey. Taking a risk is often the next step.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 7 of 17. Managers of people thrive on controlling people and attempt to manipulate their team. Leaders of people exhibit passion, focus on releasing people, and attempt to motivate and inspire their team.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 6 of 17. Managers of people focus on making decisions. Leaders of people focus on facilitating decision making. A totally different mindset always leads to totally different results.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 5 of 17. Managers of people get their power from the "rights" that come with their position, title, or rank. Leaders of people get their power not from formal authority, but from moral authority which based on their character and the relationships they've built.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 4 of 17. Managers believe others are there to help them accomplish their mission. Therefore, managers attempt to manipulate others for personal benefit. However, leaders believe they are there to help others accomplish their mission. As a result, leaders attempt motivate others for mutual benefit.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 3 of 17. When it comes to looking in the mirror, managers of people see themselves one way while leaders of people see themselves a total different way. They believe they have completely different roles. The mindset of a manager is to be served by the team. The mindset of a leader is to serve their team.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 2 of 17. When it comes to change, managers of people have a very different perspective than leaders of people. Managers of people avoid change and seek to maintain the status quo. Leaders of people are focused on continuous improvement which requires constant change.
Managing People vs Leading People series Part 1 of 17. Relative to vision, managers of people have a different perspective than leaders of people. Managers focus on the short term. Leaders focus on the long term.
I find it interesting that the only people I hear complaining about millennials are low impact leaders. I've never heard a high impact leader complain about millennials. Why? High impact leaders don't have a problem attracting them, leading them, or retaining them. Low impact leaders have always blamed others for their inability to lead. It's always been that way, and it will always be that way. Young people have always been leading the way and carrying the bulk of the load in the US Military, and they still are. Our military hasn’t fallen apart because of millennials. Where’s the real problem? We don't have a new millennial problem. We have an old leadership problem. In this episode, I discuss the real problem with millennials: those leading them.
Discover the traits of the 5 Types of Blue-Collar Leaders: Managerial, Relational, Motivational, Inspirational, and Transformational. I first wrote about the 5 Types of Leaders in my book, Defining Influence: Increasing Your Influence Increases Your Options. Be sure to checkout the audio version if you want to take a deep dive and discover how to become more intentional about increasing your authentic influence with others at all levels...360° from wherever you are whether you have a position of authority or not.
It's my pleasure to share some wisdom from my personal friend and mentor, Jimmy Collins. Jimmy retired as President and COO of Chick-fil-A in 2001 when Chick-fil-A reached $1 Billion in annual sales. Today, they are at or near $8 Billion. Jimmy retired after 33 years of following Chick-fil-A's Founder, Truett Cathy. In this episode, I'll introduce you to Jimmy's great book, Creative Followership: In the Shadow of Greatness. It's packed full of golden nuggets of wisdom and some really interesting stories. Apply what's in it, and you will absolutely increase your influence with high impact leaders as you intentionally climb your way to the next level and beyond. When you do...you'll also increase your options.
In this episode, I share a great quote related to "Managing vs. Leading" by Bob Chapman who is the CEO of Barry-Wehmiller and author of Everybody Matters. He is the best example of a high impact leader at the CEO level that I'm aware of at the moment. He has raised the bar on what high impact leadership looks and feels like. Bob leads a $2 Billion global organization made up of over 10,000 team members: an amazing blue-collar workforce, those who lead them, and those who support them.
A little over 10 years ago, I was leading a process improvement (kaizen) team. The goal was to clean, paint, and organize a large area in our manufacturing plant. One of my responsibilities as the team leader was to obtain the paint for the team, so they could paint the entire area on Thursday of the event week. However, I failed to get the paint on time. As a result, I chose to work overnight, a 26 hour shift, and paint the entire area myself to make up for my lack of planning and poor leadership. I was able to turn the negative into a trust building positive.
Leadership is more caught than taught. The two lessons I share with you in this episode were not taught to me. They were modeled for me by a fellow front line, entry-level team member in 1995. He modeled giving credit when things went right and taking the blame when things went wrong.
What you think about and the action that flows from your thoughts are far more important than anything you will read or hear. When you hear or see something that makes you think at a deeper level, don't just nod your head in agreement. Ask yourself, "How can I apply the principle in my life? And, when can I apply it?" If you want to get to the next level and beyond, you must then take action.
Introduction to my book, Defining Influence: Increasing your influence increases your options. Ria and I just finished up two 1/2 day workshops on this book with the US Navy in San Diego, CA. This episode is an overview of what the book is about.
Ria and I are excited to be heading to San Diego today to serve those who are serving us. We'll be conducting 10 1/2 day workshops for the U.S. Navy. When leaders are willing to invest in their team, we are willing to invest in their team. We pay all of our travel expenses and offer up to 4 hours on site, complimentary leadership development speaking/training in any of the 50 states with each 200 book purchase. Learn more during this episode or check out the special offer page on the www.BlueCollarLeadership.com website.
There's something far greater than success. What is it? It's significance. Success is about me. Significance is about we. Only successful people can choose to be significant people. In this episode, I share about the "Value of Significance" from my book, 10 Values of High Impact Leaders" (It's available as an audio book, paperback, and eBook.)
When it comes to climbing to the next level and beyond, you should focus on developing your strengths in the area of competency and developing your weaknesses in the area of character. You will always excel in the areas where you are naturally talented and gifted relative to skills and abilities. Your character will play a key role by launching you or limiting you.
Knowing the difference between a practice and a principle is critical to personal development and to process improvement. When you hear someone say, "That won't work here," you know they're talking about the practice and are overlooking the principle. A practice only works in certain situations. However, a principle works in all situations.
I've heard it said many times, "Luck is where preparation intersects opportunity." I agree. If you want to be lucky, prepare yourself for the opportunities you want. We make our own luck by being prepared.
Who is going to get the job you want? The person with the most influence. Not sometime, every time. Learn how to get someone to actually look at your resume/application when applying for a job internally or externally.
Too often, people who want a promotion, a better job, a different job, a better paying job, are simply going through the motions waiting for it to suddenly be given to them. That's not how it works. Someone will be hired tomorrow for the exact job you want. HR is filling that position somewhere everyday. The person who is best prepared relative to character and competency will get it. Will it be you?
Too many people are frustrated because they feel they are being controlled by others. However, we determine if others control us. It's pretty simple: If you don't develop your mind, you'll be controlled by those who do. You won't get to where you want to be accidentally. You must be intentional.
What I learned from the 7 Habits. (Part 7) Are you intentionally focused on developing your character and your competency? I hope so because no one else is or ever will be. Personal development is an inside job...between you and you. High impact players and high impact leaders are always focused on continuous improvement. If you're not, you'll get passed up by those who are.
What I learned from the 7 Habits. (Part 6) When there are differing opinions, too many people focus on compromising when they should be synergizing. Synergy means the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
What I learned from the 7 Habits. (Part 5) The key to influencing others is to first allow them to influence you. As Stephen R. Covey said, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." It's okay to let others go first. When they feel like you understand, it's much more likely they'll listen to what you have to say. However, if they don't feel understood, it's much more likely they'll be focused on responding instead of listening.
What I learned from the 7 Habits. (Part 4) Think Win-Win. Zig Ziglar said it best, "If you'll help people get what they want, they'll help you get what you want." The key is valuing helping other people win. Instead of focusing on ourselves, we must learn to focus on others. Peyton Manning said it a different way, "The most valuable player is the player that makes the most players valuable."
What I learned from the 7 Habits (Part 3 of 7). Once you know who you want to be and where you want to be, you must "Put First Things First" and manage yourself within time toward your goal. There's no such thing as time management. You can't manage time and neither can anyone else. Time just is. There's only personal leadership and personal management within time.
What I learned from the 7 Habits (Part 2 of 7). Who are you? Where are you? Who do you want to be? Where do you want to be? If you know the answer to these questions, you'll discover there's a gap between the first two and the second two. I call that the "Success Gap." How do you close the gap? You "Begin with the End in Mind."
What I learned from the 7 Habits (Part 1 of 7). In this episode, I share the most important leadership principle I've ever learned. Learn what it means to "Be Proactive" instead of being reactive. Learn how and why you should focus on your "circle of influence" and why you should avoid your "circle of concern."
What I learned from the 7 Habits (Intro). The first leadership development/personal growth book I was introduced to happened to be the one that inspired me to transform myself and my life. 10 years later, I've read hundreds of books. However, this one is still #1 on my list. Today, I've also published 12 books of my own and speak and train full-time all across the USA, and sometimes internationally, on leadership development and personal growth. After I introduce this book today, I'm going to record a 7 part series and share more details about it. I hope what I share in the series will help you as much as it helped me.
Intention is the foundation of trust. Just as we decide how we feel about others, they decide how they feel about us. If they feel we are attempting to use and manipulate them only for our benefit, we create distrust. If they feel we are trying to help and motivate them for mutual benefit, we build trust.
What is trust? Most people haven't really thought about it. When I ask my audiences this question, most often I get silence. Then, a few people will say things like honesty, dependability, confidence in others. That's all true. But, there's a lot more to trust than that. Today, I'll explore the two pillars of trust briefly: character and competency.
Authentic influence is always better than artificial influence. Here's a story from the shop floor to illustrate just how important establishing authentic influence can be. The boss told me I would need an interpreter to speak to the people in one of his departments because none spoke English. However, they always spoke English to me.
Authentic influence is based on moral authority, your character. Artificial influence is based on formal authority, your position, title, rank, etc. Authentic influence is always better than artificial influence.
John C. Maxwell said it best, "Leadership is influence. Nothing more. Nothing less. Everything rises and falls on leadership." A few thoughts on one of the most important things I learned from John Maxwell.
A few simple thoughts about what it means to invest in yourself. If you're in the blue-collar workforce, odds are your employer will develop you to do the job because that's required. However, they aren't likely to develop you beyond what's required. If you want to climb to the next level and beyond, start intentionally investing in yourself. If you do, you'll quickly separate yourself from the crowd.
In this episode, I talk a little about passion, purpose, and sacrifice as I share a little about my transition from Lean Manufacturing/Process Improvement Consultant to Motivational Speaker/Trainer/Coach/Mentor. And, I get a little fired up talking about investing in ourselves. If we won't invest in ourselves, why should anyone else?
JUST RELEASED ON AUDIO: My newest book, Blue-Collar Leadership & Teamwork: 30 Traits of High Impact Players was just released on audio at Audible.com and will be on iTunes and Amazon too in a few days.
Learn how stepping away from the corporate world (my "J-O-B") to follow my passion for leading lean/process improvement teams created the space I needed to discover my purpose: teaching and speaking about leadership development and personal growth.
In Part 3, I share a little about the impact choosing to invest my time to earn a 4 year degree while working 6-7 days a week 10, 12, 14, and even 16 hours a day. However, it took me about 7-8 years to get that 4 year degree. But, it served its purpose. It served as the key to a door that I wanted to open.